In praise of Catherine O’Flynn

Am reading a great book at the mo: The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn.  It’s set in Birmingham, which is always a bonus (so few novels are), in a regional newsroom.  I must admit it’s my first foray into the works of Catherine O’Flynn, and I do admire her witty, warm style.  I know just a few chapters in that this is going to be my kind of story.  Brummie and Black Country humour is THE best.

The main protagonist is Frank Allcroft, a regional TV news reporter with a cheesy line in painful puns.  I never worked in television, but during my very brief foray into the world of local newspapers I met numerous “characters” – for want of a more colourful epithet – of the variety encountered by poor Frank.

I would now like to read What Was Lost by the same author, which is apparently set in a shopping mall modelled on the (in?)famous Merry Hill Centre in which I wasted many an hour during my Black Country youth, eyeing up lads or buying tapes (never CDs in those days) from Our Price.

Authors like Catherine are such an unbelievable inspiration to me.  I am convinced there are still a few more chapters left in me.  I won’t give up just yet.

You can read more about Catherine here:


Well we did it…

Moved house, that is.  On the last day of April my husband and I finally moved from the flat that had been our home for over 10 years to the HOUSE about which I informed you a couple of blogs ago, with its GARDEN and everything.

I am glad to say the place felt like “home” from day one, and we have well and truly embarked on a new chapter in life.  It was worth all the trauma and the long, looong wait for a day we thought might never come.  We know now this place was always meant to be our home; the three other houses we almost purchased would never have suited our needs.  We were heartbroken to lose those purchases at the time, but the cliché about things happening for a reason proved true in our case.

Said GARDEN is proving a challenge.  We have inherited a neglected jungle.  It seems I do have green fingers – an attribute I never imagined I would possess.  I have learned such a lot in just over a month, from my Alan Titchmarsh book (my bible), helpful family members and plain old-fashioned instinct.

Whenever I think of that second-floor flat these days it resembles a box in my mind.  We always had to compromise so much on space.  It felt like everything was on top of us all the while.  I just don’t know how we lived there for 10 years.  We haven’t moved far, but might as well be on another planet for all the differences between our old abode and this new one.

So sorry I haven’t updated this in absolutely ages (and not much at all this year in fact).  I have had rather a lot on my plate of late, as you can imagine.  To be honest, I don’t know when the hell I will ever find time to do any writing.  Probably in the winter when I am doing less gardening.

In the meantime, Happy Diamond Jubilee everyone!!  Hope you are enjoying the long weekend despite the typically British bank holiday weather.